Sundays at the Lake – October 2019

Hello, I hope this newsletter finds your heart and soul well.

Ahhhh, October….makes you think of crisp leaves, cool breezes, pulling out your cozy sweaters and jackets, and pumpkin spice EVERYTHING! 

Except if you live in Texas…..where we are still having summer. We are still sweating profusely, just walking to the mailbox. A friend and I recently had lunch and did a little window shopping. We admired the beautiful sweaters and jackets in warm fall colors on display, while still in shorts and sandals. Most of us still have not put away our swimsuits.

I just know the cool air is coming and I’ll be able to pull out my cowboy boots, the ones that don’t have dirt all over them, my sweaters, jackets, and puffer vests and sip hot chocolate as the leaves fall off the trees. I can’t wait. Fall is wonderful.

Here are 10 other things I think are wonderful and are currently bringing me enjoyment or value in no particular order.

1. The 5 Second Rule –  You guys…..this is a game changer. In this book Mel Robbins, explains WHY the 5 second rule works and how to incorporate it into your day to day activities. She gives a ton of examples of how it has worked for her and others. 

I’ve been using it to do the things I don’t feel like doing or am afraid to do and its working (most of the time)! I have started getting out of bed at 4:40 am. Yes, before 5 am! It’s not easy and many days I FEEL like sleeping in but I just count….5, 4, 3, 2, 1….. and pull off the covers and put my feet only floor. Doing this, I have almost 2 HOURS to myself each morning. My husband is usually just leaving for work as my alarm is going off. I use this time to enjoy hot coffee, write down at least 3 things I am grateful for, write in my prayer journal and read my bible. I start a load of laundry, get dressed, and put breakfast on the table. The result: Mornings this year are going much better than last year. I used to roll out of bed and scramble to get everything done and be ready to go on time. There was shouting and tears and we were usually late. I have found that when I start my morning early and in a relaxing way, I have plenty of time to get myself dressed before I wake up my son and we get out the door with smiles on our faces and time to spare! 

2. Using a timer to get things done – Sometimes the piles of laundry waiting to be folded or dishes that need to be loaded and unloaded seems just too much and I walk away thinking, “I’ll just do it later.”  However,  if I set a timer for 15 minutes, I am always amazed how much I get done. Most of the time, I beat the timer. A good playlist helps too.

3. The Roosevelts: An Intimate History on Netflix – This is not something I would typically watch. My husband, a big history buff, was watching it and I joined him. I soon became very interested and have gone on to watch more episodes. History was a dreaded class in jr. high, high school and college. Ken Burns has a way of presenting it where it is actually enjoyable.  

4. Inside Bill’s Brain: Decoding Bill Gates on Netflix – I’m a bit on the nerdy side and love documentaries. This one has only 3 episodes so you don’t have to worry about loosing a week of your life if you binge watch. I was fascinated learning about Bill Gates’s childhood, early years at Microsoft, and current projects of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. I was inspired to get involved in some cause to make a change. I might not be eradicating Polio in Africa or solving sewage problems in developing countries, but I know something small can mean something big to someone somewhere.  

5. Audible Original, The Mystwick School of Musicraft by Jessica Khoury – My son and I have really enjoyed this musical audiobook. It’s geared toward young readers, but I loved it. We listened in the car  on the way to and from school, but I couldn’t help myself and listened to the ending before my son heard it. I had to find out how the story ended! I’m definitely going to check out more books by Jessica Khoury. 

6. Carbon B&W Studio, Snapseed, and Enlight Pixaloop photography apps – After a very informative workshop on iPhone photography, I finally dusted off my DSLR and sold it. For now, I’m just going to use my phone. I feel new life has been breathed into my desire to get back into photography! I’m anticipating trading in my current phone for the new iPhone 11 Pro and lenses for it. I’m looking at these 2 brands: Moment Gear and Sandmarc. If anyone has other suggestions please let me know.

7. Sunday, our new baby foal. Last month, our mare, Ruby, had a baby. She was born on a Sunday, hence the name, Sunday. Although, she was not planned (sometimes your neighbor has a crazy stud horse that will jump fences looking for a lady friend) we are happy she is healthy. She is precious and soft, frisky, and curious. Like a human baby, she is mouthing everything and curiously checking out new things while staying close to mama. It’s quite entertaining to watch her explore. 

8. Rudy Ruettiger: The Walk On on Prime Video. Yes, another documentary! Like the Bill Gates documentary, this was entertaining and inspirational. I don’t know if you have seen the movie Rudy, but it’s one we have watched over and over and every time I get choked up and cry. What I love about Rudy is his determination. I’m getting curious and want to look more into what makes one person so determined and another person give up. My favorite quote in this documentary is this: “Your key to dreaming is confidence. People don’t care how smart you are. They wanna know how much you care.” 

9. Rodan + Fields – I have been avoiding buying this for years. Everyone I know who has tried it has given great reviews. So, when I met Cathy, a lifestyle blogger and R+F consultant in my writing group, I asked her for some samples and ended up purchasing the Redefine Regimen and Redefine AMP MD system. So far, I have been very pleased. I have been using it for one month and although, I have not seen any dramatic changes, my face feels smoother. Growing up on Texas beaches, I spend a lot of time in the sun, using baby oil to get a super dark tan, so my skin has taken a beating over the years. I’m not expecting to have my wrinkles vanish and look like I’m 20, just wanting to reduce lines and wrinkles and have healthier skin. I’m also enjoying the morning and nighttime ritual of self care. 

10. Scrivener – This has been a game changer for me as a writer. I have been toting around notebooks and scraps of paper filled with quotes, random notes, and ideas for blog posts, presentations and books. This software has helped me eliminate all the paper and organize everything in one place.

I’d love to know what you are finding enjoyable and valuable. Please share!  

Until next time……be well.

Lori

Ballet Slippers and Combat Boots

Before hope*writers, I had written a short children’s book and it sat in a box year after year for more than a decade. I read it many times over those years, envisioning how the words and illustrations would look on each page. Being a speech-language pathologist and working with small children for 20 years, I thought about how a simple little story might help preschoolers and children with special needs learn about shapes and colors and even sequencing and rhyming. Having it published and come to life was simply a dream.

Not long ago, I Googled “how to publish a children’s book.” It was daunting and did not look promising. I wanted to write and I was writing, but I wasn’t writing a children’s book. I became discouraged, and during a day of purging paper and clearing space, I wadded up the story, and tossed it. I can still hear the words I was thinking as the story flew into the trash, “You will never publish a children’s book.”

Then one day I heard about Emily P. Freeman’s podcast, The Next Right Thing which is now a best selling book on Amazon! (Click here to check it out.). I scrolled through the episodes and stopped at one called “Quit Something” and hit play. Emily shared a story about her career as a sign language interpreter and how she was dreading telling her boss that she was quitting. Then I heard her speak these words, “There’s something strong I can’t shake, something I think the Lord is drawing me to. ‘It’s time to write,’ I hear on the level of my soul. I’m excited and also terrified. Yellow is dancing around in my head, writing is yellow, the things that make us come alive always are.” I thought, “Is this lady a mind reader?”

As I drove down the road listening, I could not believe it. I was a speech-language pathologist, my job was helping others communicate, much like a sign language interpreter. I also was considering leaving my current profession and also felt a calling to write. Additionally, she referred to the book, Essentialism by Greg McKeown which I was currently reading. I thought maybe God is really trying to tell me something. It was defintely a turning point.

From there, I followed a garden path and ended up finding hope*writers, co-founded by none other than Emily P. Freeman! This amazing group has been a foundation for my growth as a writer. It has led me to a family of writers who are not just willing, but excited to guide me. Since becoming a member I have gained a tremendous amount of knowledge about writing and also the much needed confidence to continue writing. Thanks from my heart, hope*writers!

Then enter, Rachel Hollis 2.0! Rachel’s first book, Girl, Wash Your Face, really got me thinking about where I was and where I wanted to go. Her second book, Girl, Stop Apologizing, gave me a plan. Where Emily is the like pink cotton candy, holding your hand and encouraging you with her warm, soft voice, Rachel is like firey red hots, all up in your face, kicking you in the pants, encouraging you to leave your pity party, get up and go after what you want. These ladies have totally different styles and I need them both. I feel like they are little angels sent from Heaven to guide me. Emily in pink ballet slippers and Rachel in combat boots!

So Emily and Rachel…..I’m following your words of wisdom. I made a decision to make some big changes in my life. Emily, I’m not going to let fear push me around, I’m going to “do the next right thing in love.” Rachel, I’m saying out loud that I’m going to publish a children’s book. (Eeek, that was so scary!) Thank you ladies, for giving me the tools to make a hard decision and encouraging me to dig deep and not apologize for my dreams. Thank you for helping me realize what those dreams are. Thank you for sharing examples from your own lives to help me better mine.

And as for that little story that I threw away, I have read it so many times I have most of it memorized and I can start to fill in the missing pieces. Who knows? The second version might even be better!

If you have found yourself at fork in the road, or even what you think is a dead end, I sincerely recommend checking out the books by these two amazing and brave ladies. I could list a thousand inspirational quotes from the books, but I think it’s better if you read them on your own and let the words speak to you wherever you are on your journey. I will share this quote from Emily, because it was the one quote that really let me put my fears behind me and step forward. “If God has something to tell you, and you continue to place yourself before him, he won’t let you miss it.”

Until next time…..be well.

Lori

Just wanted to let you know that Be Well Heart and Soul participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. When you click on a link and make a purchase it allows me to earn a little commission without any cost to the reader.

Finding Inspiration

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For several months I have been on a roll, with everything.  I felt like I was making good progress and achieving “flow” and then BAM!!! the bottom dropped out. My very comfortable routine came unraveled and I slipped into a funk. For the last 2 weeks I have been eating lots of junk, running out of patience, yelling at my kid (I even had to put a nail in the fence after a mommy meltdown) and snapping at my husband (luckily, they are very forgiving and love me even when I’m grumpy). I have been hitting snooze way too many times, the workload at my paying job has been stressing me out (y’all I’m 47 and 2 days ago developed a giant pimple on my chin!) and I have been sulking and pouting and not wanting to think about anything, especially all the progress I had made towards my goals going down the tubes.

Then there was Friday. I was going to make a change and get out of the pit I felt I was in. I had a plan.. run errands, eat more intentionally, take a long walk, and write. Run errands – check, eat a healthy lunch – check, walk 3 miles – check, then I sat down to write and….nothing….I had nothing to write. So I decided to change my environment and visit one of my favorite local shops, HomeGrown. They have been taunting me on Facebook with a Pumpkin Dulce candle so I thought I’d go get one. What I ended up with was a candle, 2 decorative items and a huge dose of INSPIRATION!!! Chatting with one of the owners and seeing all the seasonal decor and original creations breathed something in me that made me want to create. Plus I had sold 2 of my photo greeting cards I have on consignment there.

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So I got home, made dinner and then my husband and son stayed the night at our cabin (walking distance from our house), treating me to a quiet night alone giving me a chance to rest, recharge, and get back on track. For me, this is better than diamonds. I kid you not!!

So in addition to working on this post. I put on some comfy PJs and made my favorite chai latte in my favorite cup (made made by a local artisan in another favorite shop, Raindance Designs) and read my new book, The Cozy Minimalist Home by Myquillyn Smith.

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I had read her book, The Nesting Place several years ago and started trying to make this tiny little farm house feel like home. But like fashion, home decor does not come easy for me, I get started but quickly run out of steam.

I’m going to take one baby step at a time and make a few changes to decorate for fall. Maybe this one small step will start me going in the right direction. Maybe being creative in one area will have a snowball effect, spill over into other areas and I can get back to my happy place and once again be well, heart and soul.

I’m finishing up this post at another local spot I love, a coffee shop called the Bull Shack.

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This cozy place has a great story and I’m excited to have them on my list to interview for a series about people who have stepped out, taken a risk and made something amazing happen. I have been wanting to do for a long time but have not been brave enough to take a risk, venture out of my comfort zone, and actually ask people if I can interview them. Well today I did it and I’m so excited to get started. I’d love to hear about a risk you took and how it turned out.

Until next time, Be Well.

Lori